Movies Based on Actual Events

atkins-bookshelf-moviesWhen screenwriters fail to conjure the always-inspiring Muse, they turn to literature, comics, re-makes, or the often dreaded — and perhaps cursed — sequels. When all else fails, screenwriters turn their attention to the best source of entertainment: life itself. Here is a list of some notable films through the decades that were based on actual events or people, sidestepping that well-known fictitious disclaimer — “All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.”:

The Battleship Potemkin (1925): based on the mutiny that occurred on the Russian battleship Potemkin in 1905
Cleopatra (1934): based on the life of Cleopatra VII Philopator (69 – 30 BC)
Citizen Kane (1941): based on the life of newspaper publisher William Hurst (1863 – 1951)
Titanic (1953): based on the sinking of the RMS Titanic that struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean (April 15, 1912)
Judgment at Nuremberg (1961): based on the 1948 Nuremberg trial of four German judges charged with war crimes
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970): based on the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941)
All The President’s Men (1976): based on reporters Bob Woodward’s and Carl Bernstein’s investigation into the Watergate scandal during the Nixon administration
Raging Bull (1980): based on the life of boxer Giacobbe “Jake” LaMotta (1921 – ), a World Middleweight Champion
The Last Emperor (1987): based on the life of Puyi (1906 – 1967), the last Emperor of China and final ruler of the Qing Dynasty
GoodFellas (1990): based on the life of Henry Hill (1943 – ), a mobster associated with the Lucchese crime family of New York City
Gettysburg (1993): based on the Battle of Gettsyburg (July 1 – 3 1863), one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War
Thirteen Days (2000): based on U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s managment of the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962
Black Hawk Down (2001): based on the intense and tragic First Battle of Mogadishu fought between October 3 – 4, 1993 in Somalia, resulting in more than 98 American casualties and as many as 3,000 Somali casualties.
The Social Network (2010): based on the life of Mark Zuckerberg and the founding of (the) Facebook.
The Way Back (2011): based on the gripping account of a group of POWs who escaped a Siberian Gulag labor camp during WWII trekking through the unforgiving Gobi desert, and Himalayas to reach safety and freedom

Read related post: Biggest Box Office Bombs
Best TV Shows of All Time
Famous Love Quotes from Movies

For further reading: Movies of the Decades Series edited by Jurgen Muller, Taschen

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